OneBlood to Start Screening Blood Donations for Zika Virus at Request of Hospitals

With the growing concern over Zika and its spread into the United States, one Florida based blood bank will begin testing for the disease when requested.

OneBlood, after communication with the Florida Department of Health and the FDA, will provide blood that has been tested for the virus to be used with high risk patients, such as pregnant women.

“Our immediate plan is to begin testing a portion of our collections for the Zika virus to allow hospitals to have access to Zika-screened blood products from unaffected areas,” said Dr. Rita Reik, OneBlood’s Chief Medical Officer. “Hospitals that want Zika-screened products will request what they need on an on-demand basis. We will expand our inventory of Zika-screened blood based on hospital usage.”

OneBlood has implemented steps earlier this year to deal with Zika, including updating donor history and files and adding more Zika specific questions on their forms.

The decision comes on the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced $60 million in funding to help with the fight against Zika. That comes after Congress has yet to approve a $1.9 billion dollar plan to help combat it.

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